UPDATE: The Arica was docked at the Halterm Container Terminal, an earlier post said Halifax Shipyard.
HALIFAX, N.S. – Two men from B.C. have been charged in relation to a cocaine seizure at the Halterm Container Terminal in 2018. The 157 kilograms of cocaine were found attached to a container ship, called Arica, according to an article published by The Chronicle Herald.
Matthew Ross Lambert, 36, of Richmond B.C., recently went on trial in Halifax provincial court with three other men, one of which was Darcy Bailey, 48, of Fort St. John, B.C. According to The Chronicle Herald article, Both Lambert and Bailey were found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, attempting to traffic the drugs, and attempted possession for the purpose of trafficking.
According to the Chronicle article, the two men from Ontario, Dangis Seinauskas, 48, of Ajax and Nelson Alvarado-Calles, 31, of Vaughan, were acquitted on all charges.
The Arica docked in Halifax on the morning of June 9, 2018. When docked, there was a video inspection of the ships hull by a remotely operated vehicle that detected something in the sea chest, which is a grated chamber on the bottom of the ship. This inspection led to the Canada Border Services Agency to believe the ship was being used to smuggle some form of contraband.
According to the article, police had seen individuals on or around a pontoon boat with diving equipment within the area of the ship. Men were also spotted diving from a beach at Point Pleasant Park, which is next to the Halterm Container Terminal.
Later that evening, Lambert and Bailey were arrested in an SUV that was stopped by police after leaving the beach. Bailey was allegedly wearing a wet dive suit, and there was an underwater scooter device inside the vehicle, as well as diving gear and wrenches.
After this incident, a Canada Border Security Agent found the cocaine wrapped in plastic and stashed in the Arica’s sea chest.
According to the article, there was evidence at the trial, which suggested that Bailey and Lambert were aware of the Arica’s itinerary and were tracking its voyage. Before arriving in Halifax, the ship was docked in Montreal, which was where the pickup of the cocaine was allegedly supposed to take place. However, a storm made it difficult.
Crown attorney Jeff Moors said that the cocaine that was found on the Arica was 79 to 91 percent pure. According to Moors, the drugs were most likely purchased for $1 million and $2 million but had a resale street value of around $25 million.
More information can be found in the original article from The Chronicle Herald website.